Lyme Disease (cont.)
What Are Lyme Disease Treatments and Medications?
- Doctors will treat primary or early Lyme disease with oral antibiotics, including doxycycline (Vibramycin), cefuroxime (Ceftin), penicillins, amoxicillin (Amoxil), or erythromycin (Ilotycin, Ery-Ped, Ery-Tab). In early stages, the disease can be curable with just this antibiotic treatment.
- Pregnant women are usually treated with penicillins or erythromycin. Doxycycline is generally avoided as it may affect the development of the fetus.
- Doctors may treat late-stage cases of neurological, heart, or arthritic Lyme disease with intravenous antibiotics (usually ceftriaxone [Rocephin]) in the hospital or as an outpatient.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve) may be recommended to help relieve pain and inflammation.
Follow-up for Lyme Disease
Follow-up with continued care is important for people who have early Lyme disease but who fail to improve rapidly and completely.
- Doctors must consider other treatment options and rule out other illnesses that may be mistaken for Lyme disease.
- People with later-stage disease who require IV antibiotics or hospitalization must be monitored in the weeks following their treatment.
- Improvement in the symptoms of Lyme disease, particularly in the heart and nervous system, may occur gradually over a period of months. Lack of immediate improvement in all your symptoms is not a sign of unsuccessful treatment.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/20/2017
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